It was getting dark when we returned to the little house we were staying in, in the Honduran rainforest. We were supposed to be staying in a campsite but there was a problem with our booking so we had to stay in a village for a night. We were lucky to be given comfy beds but the only thing was that the walls were covered. There were cockroaches everywhere. Over the walls, over the ceiling. They were dropping into our beds.
We left the lights on. Like Frodo, the big spider and the Light of Earendil, we hoped the light would make the roaches shrink away in fear, after all they had waited until the sun set before making their move. Perhaps it limited their number but they didn’t surrender. My friend took evasive action, dressing in her fitted thermals and putting her mosquito net hat on so that she had a barrier against the bugs.
As one of our number started to squash them, the mother of all roaches charged across the ceiling in his direction. It was as if it knew and was defending its kin.
I can’t say I was happy about our companions. It was hard to sleep when you could hear them hitting the beds and we couldn’t anticipate their next move. What would they do when we fell asleep? But it wasn’t the end of the world, I knew we had the upper hand. Then the spider appeared. Its body was the size and shape of a peanut shell. It was huge. Someone was going to have to get rid of that one.
Before we knew it, it was morning. We hadn’t let them stop us. We hadn’t let them deprive us of sleep. By the time we awoke, they had gone into hiding. There were traces; the odd movement here and there that proved we hadn’t been dreaming. Although we couldn’t see them, we knew that they were still there.
Read more about my wildlife encounters here: Do bears like Californian beaches?